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mike
Canopy setbacks and grumbles
Mon Dec 3, 2018 08:25
108.26.70.182

What with my physical failings, lots of minor nuisances such as insufficient lighting - nowadays I need spotlighting to do fine detail work or read small print - and fatigue that turns my brain to jelly after a few hours of concentration, this canopy may well be my modelling swansong!

Carefully drawing and then cutting out the parts is relatively easy, sure its laborious to do but not actually difficult especially since I deliberately designed it to be as easy to build as I could. You could take this design and fabricate it in steel without changing any of the main parts and with spot welds or solder it would probably be easier to assemble than it is using card and white glue.

By the way did you know that judicious 3 second microwave bursts will cause white glue to set immediately?

The real unseen danger of white glue is its effect on the card or paper you use. The glue line contracts as it dries which causes the piece to distort by bending inwards toward the glue side so a long glue line needs to be balanced by a similar one on the other side to minimise the distortion although it doesnt prevent warping completely. The trick is to use the absolute minimum so the glue line is as thin in depth and width as possible.

This is all well and good but the arches, beams and roof panel all require long glue lines and thats only the start of the problem. The big problem is in adding reinforcing strips and tabs to stiffen the structure and give it something to attach to. More long glue lines and worse now we're offsetting the balance, so to speak, by making the card piece thicker on one side or edge than the other.

So I can predict and hopefully prevent some of these snags by forethought but it usually ends up coming down to trial and error above all else and theres the rub. Because a mistake that requires cutting out new parts will not be welcome, it was enough of a slog to make them in the first place and more than one or two whoopsies is liable to see the thing get binned and if that happens there is zero chance of my doing it all over again.

Hence the slow, careful pace and twice as much time spent in pondering what to do next as in construction. Ten years ago I would have drawn, cut out and assembled this freehand knowing that I could correct things as needed on the fly. Now it takes so much of my failing energy reserves that I tend to shy away from doing stuff that although I want to, I cannot afford the resource drain that leaves me knackered and foul tempered.

Frigging aches and pains in my most important parts, thumb and finger and wrist joints not to mention stiffness and lack of fine motor control means what was once dead easy is becoming very difficult, even my handwriting is deteriorating - old age aint for sissies!

    • Measure twice cut once - mike, Mon Dec 3 10:03
      This old adage applies to thinking as much as cutting! After all my work yesterday cutting out four arches with a horizontal beam connecting to the arch with six verticals I realized this morning... more
      • Funny about that... - sarge, Mon Dec 3 18:10
        I well remember using real hide glue by melting it in a margerine pot floating in a Crock pot full of water. Luthiers use it still for old wooden instruments, and my 200 odd year old German... more
    • 'tis so, I fear - Sarge, Mon Dec 3 09:43
      I won't use PVA/white glue as something to do seams. I always bend up some right angles to glue into right-angle joints; that way the glue itself is always a thin layer making a joint in shear. The... more
      • Yes I use those clamps too! - mike, Mon Dec 3 10:08
        Michaels the art store sells bags of miniature wooden clothes pins that really are the dogs bollocks for model making and I also whittle regular size ones for that purpose, didnt think of those hair... more
        • Ignore the moans - mike, Mon Dec 3 10:13
          About my various ailments or shortcomings because when you think that POW's built model railways under those conditions in camp you should count yourself damn lucky! I have never seen any photos of... more
          • I have almost completed one unit - mike, Mon Dec 3 18:39
            Its taken all day but I have made the four arches, 2 trusses, 2 fascias and could not have done it without setting up some spotlights which makes the work so much easier. Now I have to design and... more
            • Re: I have almost completed one unit - roger, Tue Dec 4 08:51
              Mike, You mention some pictures on the heading. I don't have any. ???
              • About the pictures - mike, Tue Dec 4 08:56
                Rog at the top of the first page it says BIKERMIKES BASEMENT in gold letters? To the left of that title is yours truly sitting in front of an open sketch book and behind the lettering are two brick... more
                • Re: About the pictures - roger, Wed Dec 5 07:46
                  Mike, I don't have any of that. Mine goes right to the latest postings. ????
                  • What browser do you use? - mike, Wed Dec 5 09:24
                    Mind you I dunno why you shouldn't see the top of the opening page of this site. I get the header on Firefox and Chrome not that you are really missing much anyway but its very strange and I do not... more
            • Well done! - Sarge, Mon Dec 3 19:41
              You mean Stan Lee from Marvel? For the buildings, how about brick paper printed off the computer and stuck onto foam-core with spray contact adhesive, then the foam-core glued up with hot glue?
              • Yes I meant Stan the Man - mike, Mon Dec 3 20:31
                Stan often used hyperbole and alliteration to puff his product! When I was in my ear;y 20's I was turned onto Marvel comics by Alex's younger brother Simon for which I am grateful especially because... more
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